Letter: Ethnic minorities in down-market ads

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his article on the racism inherent in advertising (22 February), Mark Lawson wrote that 'the British ad family is also routinely Caucasian. Non-white characters feature only in those 'life's rich tapestry' films'. This is unfair to the advertising industry, which has made sure that ethnic minorities are routinely represented in at least one other sort of advertisement: the down-market ad. So much so that it more than compensates for the absence of non-whites in ads for more up-market products.

Advertisements for HIV awareness, anti-drug warnings, social benefits such as Income Support, and more recently the 'Zero Tolerance' campaigns against domestic violence all sport black and brown faces. Though sadly, still no sign yet of an African or Eastern dignitary at the Ferrero Rocher Ambassador's reception.

Yours sincerely,


London, W10